Commentary: Pride month salutes resilience of LGBT seniors
Three ways your monthly Social Security payment can grow over time
VOL. 45 NO. 5 | JUNE 2018
How you can help Homage serve Snohomish County seniors
Travels With Kathy: Edmonds is one of nation’s undiscovered art meccas
At age 106, Spokanearea man stays in perpetual motion
You’ll find a rainbow of nutritious fruits and vegetables at a farmers market near you
At Lifelong, not only is client Bill Darby, 69 (left), able to get needed information from volunteer Larry Law, 75, but his dog Butch gets Law to do a dachshund-mix’s favorite thing: a massage under the collar. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lifelong advocates Community health organization has been helping people with HIV since the 1980s By Joseph Thompson Herald Writer
Meet the Homage volunteer who’s the unsung hero of Medicare asssistance Page 10
Homage Senior Services 5026 196th St. SW Lynnwood, WA 98036
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Learn about programs and services available to seniors by visiting www.homage.org.
EVERETT — For those in Washington diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, Lifelong has been a faithful advocate the whole time. Lifelong is a community health organization founded more than 30 years ago with offices across Western Washington. Its programs assist with housing, insurance, well-being and nutrition for people living with or at risk of HIV and other chronic health problems. Senior citizens living with HIV face unique challenges. The disease can
increase risk of another illness, accelerate symptoms of aging and serve as a reminder for those lost during the AIDS crisis. “Because your immune system is compromised, you’re more susceptible to infections people normally wouldn’t get,” said James Ludwig, program manager at Lifelong’s Everett office. “It’s kind of a holistic approach we take between housing, mental health, food and everything else. We’re looking at the bigger picture.” In Snohomish County, Lifelong serves 330 clients living with HIV, and 111 of them are 55 or older.
Over the next five to 10 years, more than half of people in the country living with HIV will be 55 or older, Ludwig said. Bill Darby, 69, was introduced to Lifelong in 1983, via a medical study at the University of Washington. Larry Law, 75, joined around 1988 through a similar study. Now he volunteers weekly at the Everett office’s front desk. HIV detection and treatment have come a long way since the 1980s, they said. CONTINUED ON PAGE 9
Meet the oldest man in America At 112, this Austin, Texas, resident has the secret to a long life: ‘Just keep living. Don’t die.’ By Brendan Meyer The Dallas Morning News AUSTIN, Texas — The oldest living man in America wakes on his couch at 4:25 a.m. and wonders if it’s still raining. On May 11, he turned 112, “And I have no pains, no aches.” The blinds of his home are drawn shut. The trickles from an overnight storm fall onto the trees. “Turn on the lights,” he says to his caregiver, who has sat by his side all night, waiting for Richard Overton to open his eyes. He’s helped onto a scale, which says his frail figure is a perfect 125 pounds. His blood pressure is a solid 110 over 80. His body temperature is 97.4 degrees. On this morning, the supercentenarian sits in his favorite recliner. He reaches for his cigar box and unwraps two Tampa Sweet Perfectos with his long fingernails — one for now, one to tuck in his shirt pocket for later. The neighbors are still asleep. The sun has yet to rise.
The birds aren’t singing. And the rain, that darn rain, is still drizzling. He hopes today won’t be like yesterday, when a constant storm prevented him from doing the thing he loves most. If the weather is nice, Overton sits on his front porch. His friends call it his “stage.” He’ll hum with the birds, snoop on his neighbors and wave at honking cars. Best of all, it’s where he smokes most of his 12 daily cigars. For now, the dark sky is still a mystery. So Overton reclines in his seat, passing the time with three cigars until the first glimmer of blue sky sneaks between the blinds. “There she is,” he says with a smile, smoking one more Tampa Sweet before putting in his teeth.
Oldest veteran, too Life has slowed year by year for the lifelong Austin resident. He was born in 1906, the same year as the first wireless CONTINUED ON PAGE 9
Richard Overton smokes a cigar at his home in Austin, Texas. He rises some time between 3 and 5 a.m. and smokes about a dozen cigars a day. (Ashley Landis / Dallas Morning News)
Pride: A reflection of resilience among LGBT seniors As the rainbow Pride flag billows in the wind to celebrate Pride month here in Snohomish County, across the state, and around the Commentary by globe, it is a vivid Karen Fredriksen reflection of Goldsen the bravery and pride embedded in LGBT communities. In 1976 when our country celebrated the bicentennial of its independence, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in the history of California and a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, encouraged Gilbert Baker to develop a unique symbol affirming our independence and pride, and to proclaim its power. The Rainbow flag was sewn together by 30 volunteers and the colors were dyed in a public laundromat in 1978. Tragically, Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were murdered four months later. Starting in 1969 when the Stonewall riots ushered in the modern LGBT civil rights movement in the United States through today, there has been a rapid shift in attitudes and acceptance toward LGBT people. The support that led to the constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples has been characterized as one of the most dramatic changes in history. The flag is also a reminder of the turbulent history of LGBT seniors and their communities. From the 1973 murders of 32 patrons of New Orleans’ gay bar, the UpStairs Lounge, during Pride weekend to the massacre of 49 LGBTQ people and their allies at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub during Pride month, the communities have been bombarded with atrocities like these, murder, discrimination, and everyday bias. For over two decades, I’ve been researching the health, well-being and longevity of LGBT people as they
age. The tremendous diversity of the LGBT community is weaved together by differences in sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, as well as by race, ethnicity, culture, sex, age, ability, and income. Our research shows that relentless adversity, stigma and social exclusion have accumulative and negative impacts on health, resulting in significant health disparities. Nearly three quarters of our LGBT senior participants have experienced victimization and discrimination at least three times over their lifetime. In late life many LGBT seniors are fearful to disclose their identities, and they are at elevated risk of social isolation. Even today many health and senior care providers don’t have the knowledge and skills necessary to provide
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of bravery sustain our resolve. Karen Fredriksen Goldsen, Ph.D., is professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work and the principal investigator of Aging with Pride: National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender Study, the first national, longitudinal study of health and well-being of LGBTQ midlife and older adults. She recently received the Pollack Award for Productive Aging by the Gerontological Society of America and was named as a top 50 Influencer in Aging by PBS’s Next Avenue. Fredriksen-Goldsen is the author of more than 100 publications and three books, and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Forbes and U.S. News and World Report.
Homage has moved to a new location: 5026 196th St. SW, Lynnwood. We’ll have more in the July issue.
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culturally relevant care. Though at risk, they have resisted the negative social and political mores of the time. LGBT seniors display tremendous fortitude and perseverance, and are resilient with many strengths to offer our community. Our recent research demonstrates that policies embracing social inclusion can make a real difference in seniors’ lives. The impact of marriage equality, for example, is significant, as married couples report better health, are more comfortable being out, and have greater social and economic resources than couples who are not married. Despite such a historical context, LGBT seniors walked out of the shadows cast by fear and discrimination to create our communities. Their extraordinary determination and acts
Distribution: Over 12,000 papers are mailed to households and senior-friendly businesses;1,900 papers are distributed at drop-off locations including senior centers, retirement communities, libraries, etc. Published by Homage Senior Services www.homage.org 5026 Airport 196th St.Rd. SW, Lynnwood, 98036 11627 Suite B, Everett,WA WA 98204 425-513-1900 Published monthly with a readership of 100,000+, the Homage Senior Services educates and entertains readers (seniors, family caregivers, service providers and other interested persons) with news and information that reflects the diverse interests and needs of the senior community. Signed articles are the opinon of the writer and not the opinion of Homage Senior Services.
Also distributed monthly in The Daily Herald. Contact Josh O’Connor at 425.339.3007 or at email@example.com. Advertising: The existence of advertising (including political advertisements) in this publication is not meant as an endorsement of the individual, product or service by anyone except the advertiser. For more information, contact Jacqueray Smith, Multimedia Consultant, at 425.339.3023 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Three ways your Social Security payment can grow By Kirk Larson Social Security Washington State Public Affairs Specialist You made the choice and now you are happily retired. You filed online for your Social Security benefits. They arrive each month in the correct amount exactly as expected. But, did you ever wonder if your Social Security check could increase? Once you begin receiving benefits, there are three common ways benefit checks can increase: ■■ A cost of living adjustment (COLA); ■■ Additional work; ■■ Or an adjustment at full retirement age if you received reduced benefits and exceeded the earnings limit. The COLA is the most commonly known increase for Social Security payments. We annually announce a COLA, and there’s usually an
increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. By law, federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPIW). More than 66 million Americans saw a 2 percent increase in their Social Security and SSI benefits in 2018. For more information on the
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2018 COLA, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola. Social Security uses your highest 35 years of earnings to figure your benefit amount when you sign up for benefits. If you work after you begin receiving benefits, your additional earnings may increase your payment. If you had fewer than 35 years of earnings when we figured your benefit, you will replace a zero earnings year with new earnings. If you had 35 years or more, we will check to see if your new year of earnings is higher than the lowest of the 35 years (after considering indexing). We check additional earnings each year you work while receiving Social Security. If an increase is due, we send a notice and pay a one-time check for the increase and your continuing payment will be higher. Maybe you chose to receive reduced Social Security retirement
benefits while continuing to work. You made the choice to take benefits early, but at a reduced rate. If you exceeded the allowable earnings limit and had some of your benefits withheld, we will adjust your benefit once you reach full retirement age. We will refigure your payment to credit you for any months you did not receive payments. Your monthly benefit will increase based on the crediting months you receive. You can find additional information about working and your benefit at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ EN-05-10077.pdf. Retirement just got more interesting since you learned about potential increases to monthly payments. Social Security has been securing your today and tomorrow for more than 80 years with information and tools to help you achieve a successful retirement.
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How you can help Homage serve Snohomish County seniors
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES BY JOHN McALPINE
By Michelle Frye Volunteer Manager, Homage Senior Services The Volunteer Engagement Program at Homage has needs in the following areas: Foster Grandparent Program: Older adults provide children with special and/ or exceptional needs one-on-one support at community locations such as schools and daycares. Volunteers must be 55 +. Small stipend available for those who meet income guidelines. Friendly visitors: Volunteers help by providing weekly friendly visits to lonely and isolated older adults in need. Home Helper: Need cleanliness-minded volunteers who would like to work with seniors living in South Snohomish County. Help seniors and persons
Homage front desk volunteer Candy Sterling. with disabilities, often living without local help, living alone, widowed and who have physical limitations with vacuuming, dishes and laundry. Outreach and Administrative support: Help with reception, clerical, and data entry as needed in several of our social service programs.
Senior Care Companions in Snohomish County: Help seniors stay in their homes by running errands, doing light housekeeping and/ or providing companionship with weekly home visits. Must be 55+ years and meet income limits. Spanish translator: One of our social service programs needs help
Scriber Pointe Senior Apartments Subsidized 62+ Community
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Scriber Pointe Senior Apartments 19912 Scriber Lake Rd., Lynnwood WA
For information call 425.339.1048
Social Service Coordinator One bedroom apartments Laundry facilities on site Community room with kitchen and outdoor patio for recreation and entertainment Access-controlled building and emergency alert system All units are wheelchair accessible Close to shopping and services Income restrictions apply Pets welcome
translating materials. Volunteer drivers: Help drive older adults to grocery shopping, errands, and medical appointments. Weeding and yard work: Great opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of older residents in Snohomish County. If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities or want to know about corporate volunteer possibilities, please call Michelle Frye at 425-740-3787 or email email@example.com.
Sponsored by Catholic Community Services, RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for persons over 55 and the only program where the collective contribution of the senior volunteer is recorded. RSVP exists to help volunteers 55+ find fulfillment in their volunteer work. Volunteer opportunities exist all over Snohomish County. There are so many benefits to volunteering, it was suggested I share some with you in this column. As far as I can determine, the first documented instance of volunteering originated with Ben Franklin. He organized a volunteer fire department in Philadelphia, the Ben Franklin Bucket Brigade, in 1736. Granted the motivation for those volunteers was different from what most people feel today, but they still got something from
the experience. Primarily, the knowledge that if their house or business caught fire, help would arrive quickly. If you are not a volunteer currently, or have never volunteered let’s go over the benefits in a general way; People who volunteer live longer. Numerous studies support this. Older volunteers (over 60) are most likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering. This may be due to changing roles and social situations as we age. The research says, though, at least 40 hours a year are required to get those benefits. Other studies place the number at 100 hours a year (2 hours a week). Also, there is no increase in benefits once you’ve met this threshold. Volunteers have greater life satisfaction
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Older Adult Mental Health Access Mental health problems are not a normal part of aging Good mental health enables us to maintain a high quality of life that we can enjoy regardless of our age. Untreated mental health problems can lead to poor health and diminished quality of life. The Older Adult Mental Health Access Program can assist Snohomish County residents, 60 and older, access mental health or chemical dependency services.
Our Program Offers: Information about mental health | Advocacy with medical, mental health or social service providers | Assistance in identifying providers who offer free or low-cost services and those who accept your health insurance or Medicare insurance
Call 425.290.1260 or 800.422.2024 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 5026 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036
Homage and lower rates of depression. Volunteering and the physical well-being you get from it are part of a positive, re-enforcing cycle. Volunteers report higher levels of happiness, life satisfaction, self-esteem and more. Source: www.nationalservice. gov/sites/default/files/documents/07_0506_hbr_brief.pdf Now that I’ve provided you with some reasons on why and how volunteering is beneficial, I call on you to put this knowledge into action. Here are a few places that need help:
Volunteer Chore Helping people live independently is what this program is about. Time commitment is agreed upon between you and the client. Can be anywhere from 2 hours a month to 4 hours a week, you decide. As people age, doing the routine day to day household
chores many of us do without a thought may become a problem. Our clients are elderly or disabled and will be able to stay in their homes with a little help from their friends. Some clients have yards that need tending too.
Food Banks Because the facts about food insecurity are so shocking I’m repeating them again this month. Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. In 2016, 41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4 million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat. A household that is food insecure has limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life. Households with children were
more likely to be food insecure than those without children. Nearly 60 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the major federal food assistance program — the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps); the National School Lunch Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (often called WIC). We work with food banks in these cities: Arlington, Everett (two locations), Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville (two locations), Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Snohomish and Stanwood. You can see there is a lot of work to be done and we need your help!
Meet award-winning Homage volunteer Judy Edgmand. Page 10 County is in large part, still very rural. People who don’t have personal transportation can encounter difficulties in getting to a doctor appointment or grocery store. A volunteer driver can help with that situation. You need a current license, working horn, lights and brakes on your car, to do this. Please consider this very much needed volunteer job. Your driving record doesn’t have to be perfect and clients enter and exit the vehicle on their own. If you have any questions about RSVP, volunteering or any of the agencies you see listed here, please contact RSVP at 425-374-6374 or email email@example.com.
If you enjoy driving, this can be a great volunteer job. Snohomish
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TRAVELS WITH KATHY
Edmonds among nation’s unexpected art meccas By Kathy Witt Tribune Media Services Sure. Santa Fe has its art colony, Seattle, its experimental arts edge, and New York, enough museums and cultural institutions that it can catalog its own top 50 and still have plenty of must-see’s left for another arts-centric list. But rocking an arts scene beneath the radar are those smaller towns whose dynamic art galleries, working artist studios, festivals with an arts flair, restaurants known for their food artistry, and art-enhanced accommodations combine to create a surprisingly well-rounded arts ecosystem. Plan a pilgrimage to three such small towns. Edmonds: Plan your arrival in this city set beside Puget Sound on a warm-weather Saturday when one of the best summer markets anywhere is in full swing: fresh-baked breads and pastries, a rainbow palette of fragrant flowers, Washington wines, cheeses, meats, veggies, fruits, chocolates, artisan-made jewelry, tchatches and other baubles, all accompanied by live music, a guy whipping up smoothies and a portable brick oven cranking out pizzas. Welcome to
Edmonds, a scenic charmer in the Pacific Northwest with lushly planted downtown spilling over with three dozen arts venues and events. Among them is Cole Gallery, known for a klatch of award-winning creatives like Pam Ingalls, whose paintings have been juried into more than 125 national and international shows. Over 100 classes and workshops are on the schedule at Cole’s Art Studio, with Friday nights devoted to Try It! classes that include everything from finger painting to encaustics (hot, melted beeswax). Weekend workshops cover the artistic gamut: watercolor basics, color mixing, plein air painting, landscape painting and more. Bite into artfully crafted and beautifully plated foodstuffs at Salt & Iron, a contemporary eatery with big showy windows, sidewalk tables and a menu made for grazing your way through several savories with craft cocktail in hand. Coming up: The Edmonds Arts Festival is a 3-day event held Father’s Day weekend. See how seriously Edmonds takes its art when 250 U.S. and Canadian artists exhibit their works beneath tented booths and hundreds of area
artists have their juried fine art shown. Catch music, dance and theater performances; shop the Festival Store; eat your way through festival faves and ethnic specialties; and raise a toast to creativity at the Beer & Wine Grotto. Turn in for the night in a room adorned with art and furniture by local artists mixed with vintage finds. The Whales Nest is in the heart of downtown Edmonds, near bookstores and bars and within blocks of the ferry and train. Georgetown, Kentucky: Sitting amidst Kentucky Horse Country is a small town perhaps best known as the birthplace of bourbon (a sublime art in its own right), but Georgetown, Ky. is also home to several high-profile artists, including John Stephen Hockensmith, rock star of equine photography and publisher of breathtakingly beautiful collector art books like his “Gypsy Horses and the Travelers’ Way,” “Spanish Mustangs in the Great American West” and, most recently, “The Gift of Color: Henry Lawrence Faulkner,” about the life and art of the prolific Kentucky artist who once hung out with Tennessee Williams and had his work collected by Silver Screen sirens Bette Davis and Greta Garbo.
Hockensmith’s arts headquarters is the Fine Art Editions Gallery & Press, which sits in downtown’s Victorian-era streetscape crowded with shops, restaurants, arts venues and (this being Kentucky), a craft bourbon distillery called Bourbon 30. Thoroughbred racehorse artist Robert Clark has a gallery here. The Scott County Arts & Cultural Welcome Center, located in the old jailer’s house, exhibits fine art and sells local and regional handcrafted gift items. Nearby Georgetown College has three art galleries showcasing works by new, emerging and experimental artists from around the world. Visitors to Georgetown can watch Old World artistry take shape before their eyes at Heirlooms & Gretchen’s, one of Kentucky’s only authentic stainedglass shops, and grind, saw and solder their own keepsake. They can dine on inspired cuisine at Local Feed, a farm-to-table restaurant tucked into a former 1890s ice house, whose chef, Justin Thompson, also takes his culinary prowess on the road to Georgetown landmarks for sell-out multi-course Seed to Feed dinners. They can take it outside to one of the most
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visually scenic spots in central Kentucky at Yuko-En on Elkhorn Creek. An official Kentucky-Japan Friendship Garden, it is an homage to Tahara, Japan, Georgetown’s sister city, a calming oasis of flowering and native plants, Japanese-inspired sculptures and a pond that invites quiet reflection. Arts events coming up in Georgetown include the Festival of the Bluegrass, June 7-10; Hockensmith’s The Gift of Color: Henry Lawrence Faulkner New Book Release at Irish Acres Gallery on June 21; and a Seed to Feed dinner at Ward Hall, June 22. Call it a good night in a picture-postcard setting of Kentucky Horse Country at Linden Place Bed and Breakfast Inn. Alpharetta, Georgia: Alpharetta’s downtown historic district bursts into full color over Memorial Day Weekend when nearly 100 artists from around the U.S. converge to showcase their works at the Alpharetta Arts Streetfest. The free-admission festival offers three full days of strolling through outdoor galleries filled with fine paintings, mixed media, photography, pottery, jewelry, textile, glass, wood, metal and paper art, all accompanied by live jazz and acoustical music, cultural arts performances, children’s activities and festival cuisine. The festival shines the spotlight on Alpharetta’s unabashed love of the arts. From
the seven sculptures from internationally known artists that make up the temporary Miscellany open-air gallery in Brooke Street Park to Alpharetta’s permanent public art collection with works by Georgia artists, there is something beautiful, striking and dramatic to see everywhere you turn. Create your own masterpiece at one of Alpharetta’s art-inspired attractions like Painting With a Twist, where burgeoning artists can sip wine during a group class, or All Fired Up, where individuals can craft one-of-a-kind pottery pieces. Arts venues abound, including Sis & Moon’s with treasures curated from new and vintage sources; Out of the Box Art Studio with wheel, clay hand building, drawing, oil painting, acrylic, watercolor, multi-media art and more; and Still Point Art Gallery, a nonprofit formal art gallery that supports local and international artists. Dining is likewise inspired with artfully dressed dishes like charred octopus, squid ink spaghetti and grilled long stem artichokes served in the art gallery setting of Vinny’s on Windward. Like what you see? You can purchase the painting right off the wall. Overnight at the new Hotel at Avalon, a fantasy land with 23 inspired restaurants, 75 luxe shops and a lobby devoted to all things modern art: statues, hanging pieces and living walls of live grass.
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For Spokane-area man, life in motion — even at 106 By Treva Lind The Spokesman-Review
Noble Brewer turned 106 on May 4. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review) That sharp dressing shows up, every day, staff says. Recently, he greeted guests in a beige button-up shirt, burgundy sweater, brown slacks and bolo tie. Brewer was 6 when WWI ended. “I can remember when it was over, all the neighbors went out and shot off shotguns to celebrate,” he said. He only had one year of college, because of the Depression. The detour led to lifelong work in aviation. He keeps a picture of himself taken during the 1930s when he was flying biplanes. “Two wings, single engine, no brakes, tires were smooth with no tread,” he said. “I stayed with airplanes for the rest of my life.” In 1936, he got married and moved to Los Angeles, where he trained in aviation engine work. He worked briefly for United Airlines, then Western Airlines for 20 years. He spent another 20 years at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft, retiring and relocating in the late 1970s to the Coeur d’Alene area.
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Alaska from Edmonton, Alberta. The Japanese believed that control of the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, was of strategic importance to prevent a possible U.S. attack. They bombed Dutch Harbor on June 3-4, 1942, occupying Kiska and Attu. “Alaska was isolated,” he said. “When Alaska was shut off, we used to go up there and take wounded people from the island back to the States, all by compass.” Today, he said Garden Plaza is home and he enjoys most visiting with other guests. He’ll even recite poetry, demonstrating while having his photograph taken. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away; a hug a day keeps the blues away,” he said. “I just heard another one on TV, ‘An onion a day keeps everyone away.’ “ When asked about his favorite foods, he didn’t mention the Tabasco sauce, but apparently a little spice doesn’t bother him. “I can eat anything — everything agrees with me.”
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He and his wife, Wilma, raised two children — a son named Eugene and a daughter named Louise — and were married for more than 75 years. She died in 2014. During this career, he trained as a pre-flight and test-flight inspector, earning the nickname of “Airplane Doctor.” When certain airplanes had issues or were sold for delivery in another country, he went with the aircrafts, “like a spare tire,” he said, including stints often overseas. “I got into aviation with engines; my career was engines,” he said. “My job was I was an inspector. Troubleshooting was part of my job. I’ve been in foreign countries all over the world.” During World War II, he described himself as a “different kind of veteran,” serving as what he called a volunteer GI serving in the Air Transport Command. That unit was created during the war mainly for delivery of supplies and equipment. He said his team could fly aircraft by compass and often went to
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From Model Ts to jet airplanes, Noble Brewer has lived 106 years with life in motion. Brewer celebrated his birthday recently, receiving a tribute during a music program at Garden Plaza of Post Falls, where he’s lived over five years. The retired flight inspector remains active, staying in an independent living apartment. These days, he gets around mostly on a red motorized wheelchair. His secret to longevity applies simple logic. “I tell these young kids, remember you only have one body, so take care of it,” he said. “Don’t drink the wrong things. You treat your body like a new car; you wouldn’t put oil in your gas tank and you wouldn’t put gasoline in your oil. “When you’re young, you only have one body — no trade-ins — so take care of it.” Born 1912 in Oklahoma, Brewer often cooks for himself, loves Jell-O, drinks a glass of wine most evenings and enjoys dancing at the center. And he likes witty one-liners. “I’m shooting for 110,” quipped Brewer. “Four more years to go.” Garden Plaza staff members say Brewer has endeared himself to them and other residents with his zeal. That includes being a cheerful conversationalist, loving music and keeping a pocketed bottle of Tabasco sauce, just in case, for meals. “He’s super witty,” said April Howard, Garden Plaza sales director. “He’s just a social butterfly, and he dresses so dapper. Even though he’s in a scooter, he’ll stand up briefly, and he spins the ladies around. He just loves his music, and he loves to cook.” Garden Plaza’s executive director and manager, Terek Beckman, said Brewer received a veteran recognition award about a year ago. “Noble, even though he’s turning 106 years old, he’s so active,” Beckman said. “He still likes to cook for himself. His favorite thing to make is Jell-O. He loves his glass of wine. “He’s just one of those good souls you always love to be around. He’s always happy.”
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A rainbow of vitamins, minerals at the farmers market By Sara Troyer Dietetic Intern, Homage Senior Services Farmers market season is here. The rainbow of vibrant fruits and veggies aren’t just delicious — they all contain many vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Choosing fruits and vegetables from a varied color palate will provide a diverse mixture of healthy nutrients. Here are some health-promoting foods to look for this season: Beets can be eaten raw or cooked. Be sure to wash the skin completely before cutting or peeling since beets grow in the ground. Beets are an excellent source of folate, which can be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Beets are harvested in Washington between May and September. Red raspberries are best when they are dark red to maroon. Raspberries should hold their shape
well but break apart easily. Whatcom County produces the majority of Washington’s red raspberries. Red raspberries are high in fiber, vitamin C and anthocyanin — a phytonutrient that may help with cognitive function and cardiovascular health. Red raspberries are ripe between June and August. Apricots are orange to bright yellow. They are soft on the outside and mildly sweet or tart on the inside. Apricots are excellent when eaten fresh but can also be added to salads and sauces. Apricots are high in beta carotene, which can boost antioxidant defenses. Look for apricots between June and August. Rainier cherries are yellow with a tinge of red, tasting delicate but sweet. Cherries are a great source of fiber and can help lower cholesterol. Typical availability ranges from June through mid-July. Belgian endive is a yellow, tear-
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drop-shaped vegetable that can reach about 6 inches in length. Belgian endive is a great source of thiamin, calcium, magnesium, folate and copper. Try roasting, braising or even eating raw in a salad. Ask for endive between June and October. Tomatillos look like little green tomatoes, but they are more closely related to bell peppers than tomatoes. They’re a tangy alternative to tomatoes in recipes like salsa and guacamole. Tomatillos are high in potassium, niacin, fiber and antioxidants. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants may be good for your heart health and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer. Give tomatillos a try when they are in season from July through September. Blueberries should be firm, plump and uniform in size. Like red raspberries, blueberries are also high in anthocyanins and vitamin C. July through September yields the best blueberries. Kohlrabi bulbs can be purple or green, tasting somewhere between cucumber and broccoli. Bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked. Kohlrabi contains copper that helps preserve healthy blood vessels and contributes to iron absorption. Kohlrabi is usually ripe June
3 beets 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon thyme Salt and black pepper to taste Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash beets under running water until completely free of dirt. Remove the tops and root end of beets. Peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1-inch chunks. Place beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, turning beets once or twice until tender.
Tomatillo salsa 10 tomatillos, husked, rinsed, quartered ½ medium yellow onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds for less spice) ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves Salt and pepper to taste Puree tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.
through November. Plums are a purplish-black fruit on the outside, but the inside is amber-colored. Like their relatives peaches and nectarines, plums have a very sweet and juicy flavor. Plums are high in vitamin C which increases iron absorption and can help with wound healing. Plums ripen in June and stay ripe through September.
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The YMCA of Snohomish County offers a variety of programs and activities specifically for older adults. From aerobics to yoga or special trips, you are sure to find many enjoyable opportunities to connect with others. THERE’S A Y NEAR YOU: Everett 425 258 9211 Marysville 360 653 9622 Mill Creek 425 337 0123 Monroe 360 805 1879 Mukilteo 425 493 9622 Stanwood 360 629 9622 YMCA-SNOCO.ORG
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The Foster Grandparent Program is a mentoring program designed to pair seniors with children in our communities who need extra attention and encouragement.
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• Provide one-on-one tutoring and guidance • Help children learn to read • Make a difference for youth at a critical time in their lives • Serve at local schools, daycares and youth clubs • Grant stipend reimbursements for qualifying volunteer applicants to cover mileage and volunteer hours.
Become a Volunteer and call 425-514-3188
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Lifelong CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
radio broadcast and a year before Oklahoma became a state. He fought in World War II in a segregated Army unit and, after returning from war, spent the bulk of his career working at furniture stores, then at the Texas Department of Treasury. Now he’s the oldest man in America, verified by the Gerontology Research Group, and the oldest veteran. Every day, strangers stop by the house on Richard Overton Avenue to take his picture or shake his hand. He’s even featured on a mural down the street from his home. Unlike most celebrities, Overton lived an entire life of anonymity before acquiring his fame. In 2006, at age 100, Overton was just a retired man who liked garage sales, yard work and driving his Monte Carlo. Then he got to 106. He met President Barack Obama, politicians, athletes and celebrities. Comedian Steve Harvey once asked him his secret. Overton’s reply? “Just keep living, don’t die.” Every morning, his caregivers make him multiple cups of coffee. Overton takes it with three spoonfuls of sugar and a plastic straw. He likes sweet things. He eats waffles, pancakes or cinnamon rolls for breakfast. He enjoys ice cream and peach cobbler for dessert. He loves Dr Pepper, which he calls “sweet juice.” His four caregivers switch between 12-hour shifts. They do anything Overton wants. Massage his feet. Pull up the blinds. Pour him his favorite drink, a whiskey and Coke. He can be demanding,
him out of the house. “As you get older, you don’t get to see so many people,” he said. “It’s nice to get out.” Lifelong’s Evergreen Health Insurance Program pays premiums and explains coverage plans to clients, finding
because even with his loss of independence, he’s still the man of the house. Last year, he woke in the middle of the night to a new male caregiver he didn’t recognize. So he got his loaded .38. When the police arrived, they gently asked Overton to put the gun down. No charges were pressed, and the gun was unloaded and hidden
in a safe spot. Now, the caregivers let him know who’s coming.
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has terms of endearment for those he loves, words that aren’t appropriate for a family newspaper. He’s also a ladies’ man, always flirting with caregivers and nurses. He outlived his six sisters, three brothers, wife and ex-wife. He never had kids. He has a first cousin who lives down the street and a third cousin who stops by daily. In December
2016, a family member created a GoFundMe page to finance his 24/7 in-home care. The page has raised more than $234,000, but much of that money has already been spent. Once it’s gone and the caregivers go, they fear he will, too. Overton doesn’t worry about death. “I didn’t know when I came here, and I don’t know when I’m going,” he said.
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Last summer, he flew to Memphis with his cousins for a family reunion. But there was a problem with his ticket. The computer misread his birth year of 1906, which they learned at the airport when the person at the check-in counter looked at their reservation and asked about the 11-year-old. Overton likes to mess with people. He
actually drive to people’s homes and see them when they need to and possibly provide transportation through bus tickets, gas cards or physically transporting them,” Ludwig said. Video conferencing allows Lifelong to reach areas of the state that case managers can’t. “Smaller communities in rural areas wouldn’t necessarily have what we have,” Law said. “Coming from way up in the sticks of northeastern Washington, I know about that. If you were needing the expertise of the medical science community, it’s a long, long way to go.” Lifelong has additional offices in Seattle, Bellevue, Bellingham and Longview.
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Overton likes routines. He listens to the Isley Brothers and wears his favorite WWII veteran hat. He exercises, swinging his legs back and forth as he sits. And he still travels.
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The Lifelong Dental Program provides access to cleanings, crowns and other dental work to clients. “We’re probably in better shape than most people in Snohomish County,” Law said. “We would not have done such careful maintenance of our health, had we not been HIV positive, simply because we’re programmed to see a knowledgeable physician at least three or four times a year.” Ludwig said he agreed because “Medicare doesn’t pay for dental care.” Transportation can be a barrier to treatment for elderly clients, Ludwig said. “One of the things case managers here do is
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disease still deal with. “We lost 90 percent of our friends,” Darby said. The medical case management program is offered for clients who need support dealing with loss. Law is glad for a chance to serve others and it gets
a package that works for them. “It’s stuff I didn’t know how to do,” Darby said. “That’s where (Lifelong) comes in.” The Chicken Soup Brigade provides weekly grocery pickups and monthly meals for clients struggling with hunger. “People with HIV’s nutritional needs are different,” Ludwig said. “If you’re not able to eat, you’re not going to get the nutrition you need to be healthy.” One of Law’s volunteer duties is to call clients to let them know when groceries are available. “Having that extra contact, that extra reminder has been a great thing that Larry has been able to do,” Ludwig said.
Lifelong program director James Ludwig, 57 (center), gets a laugh out of volunteer Larry Law, 75 (left), and longtime client Bill Darby, 69, while talking about services to HIV patients in Western Washington. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
“Nobody knew what they were doing,” Law said. “They didn’t even have tests to accurately detect. They can make educated choices where that wasn’t true 25 years ago.” Darby said the medications prescribed today are much better. “(Younger people living with HIV) won’t have to go through what we went through,” Darby said. “All the experimental drugs they had going on made you sicker than a dog.” The damage of the AIDS crisis is a challenge those living with the
Volunteer Judy Edgmand: The unsung hero of Medicare assistance By Michelle Frye Volunteer Manager, Homage Senior Services Judy Edgmand, a recipient of the 2017 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, has had a strong volunteer presence with the SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Adviser) Program at Homage Senior Services since 2005. Judy’s professional career was as an academic counselor and instructor for computer science. As you can see, her career in leading and guiding others started off very early. Judy is one of Homage’s best volunteer trainers. SHIBA volunteers are well-equipped to counsel Medicare-eligible residents
Judy Edgmand, a recipient of the 2017 President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. (Homage photo) of all ages due to the training they receive by people like Judy. She has brought
her years of experience and intuition in simplifying complicated topics and
processes like Medicare. As a result, Judy has developed several helpful handouts and training materials for the SHIBA program at Homage. One became so popular that the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner duplicated it and made it available to SHIBA advisers statewide. Judy represents someone that is selfless, dedicated and driven to help others. Judy is outspoken about topics that can improve the SHIBA Program that ultimately make a positive change to the delivery of the program. Judy’s dedication is demonstrated in her consistency in covering a four-hour shift every Wednesday morning. In addition, Judy works
three different community events a week during Medicare Open Enrollment time. During this period, she helps advise community members about their Medicare options for the following year. SHIBA is a better program thanks to Judy’s contribution, dedicated efforts and caring ways. Congratulations, Judy, on receiving this award! If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information about our SHIBA program contact, Michelle Frye, Homage Volunteer Manager at 425-740-3787 or mfrye@ homage.org. Or reach out to Rochelle Salsman, Homage SHIBA Volunteer Coordinator at 425-514-3183.
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